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Need help? Contact the Chromecast Support Team for assistance.

Casting a tab or entire desktop

Why watch you favorite entertainment or browse the internet on your desktop when you can enjoy it on big screen? By casting a Chrome browser tab, you can mirror what's displaying on your computer screen onto the TV. To get started, be sure you're fully set up to use Chromecast with Chrome.

Set up casting from Chrome

  1. If you're not already running Chrome, download Chrome. If you are, Chrome updates automatically, so no action should be required.
  2. Ensure you're running the latest version of Chrome. If you're having trouble, here's how to get Chrome updates.
  3. Though not required, we recommend you install the Google Cast extension in order to get the Cast icon in your browser toolbar. If the Google Cast Extension is already installed on your browser, you'll see a Cast icon Inactive cast extension in the Chrome toolbar (near the top right).
  4. If you plan to cast a tab to your Chromecast to watch video on TV, review the Minimum System Requirements to ensure that your computer and network are capable of supporting this.

Casting content from Chrome

There are several ways to cast content from Chrome.

Option 1. From a Cast-enabled site: For sites like youtube.com and netflix.com,

  1. Open up a cast-enabled site like youtube. com or netflix.com.
  2. Click the Cast icon Inactive cast extension  in the bottom right corner of the video player.

Option 2. From Chrome Setting menu:

  1. Navigate to the Chrome Settings menu More menu icon in  the Chrome toolbar in the upper right corner of your browser > click "Cast..".
  2.  Choose the device you would like to cast to. 

Option 3. From a webpage in Chrome: 

  1. Open a tab in Chrome browser.
  2. Right click on the webpage > click Cast. 

Option 4. From the Google Cast extension:

  1. If you’ve installed the Google Cast extension, click the Google Cast extension Inactive cast extension in the Chrome toolbar in the upper right corner of your browser. 
  2.  Choose the device you would like to cast to. 

Casting your laptop/desktop content

You can cast your desktop/laptop content (vs just the specific Chrome tab). This is available on Mac, Windows, and Chrome OS.
Important note on audio: Note that you can only cast your desktop audio from Windows. If you cast your desktop from a Mac or Chrome OS computer, you’ll see the contents of your screen on your TV but won’t be able to hear any audio from your computer.

Option 1. From Chrome Setting menu:

  1. Navigate to the Chrome Settings menu More menu icon in  the Chrome toolbar in the upper right corner of your browser > click "Cast..".
  2. Next to the where it says, Cast to …, you’ll see a small dropdown. Click on that to change the source selection.
  3. Click Cast desktop.
  4. Choose the Chromecast device you want to cast to.

Option 2. From the Google Cast extension:

  1. If you’ve installed the Google Cast extension, click the Cast button Inactive cast extension in the Chrome toolbar (upper right corner) of your browser. 
  2. Next to the where it says, Cast to …, you’ll see a small dropdown. Click on that to change the source selection.
  3. Click Cast desktop.
  4. Choose the Chromecast device you want to cast to.

How to know when content is casting

The Cast icon will turn blue Inactive cast extension when it’s active. You'll also see a glow around the icon of the tab being cast.

What can be cast

You can cast the majority of web content. Sites using plug-ins like Silverlight, Quicktime & VLC aren’t supported and may result in a lack of picture or sound.

Audio and video

You’ll see video and images for the selected tab on your computer and TV. However, you’ll only hear sound from the selected tab on your TV. Note: Sounds for other tabs and applications will continue to play on your computer.

If my Chromecast is currently in use

After opening the menu or selecting the device, you’ll see a short description of Chromecast’s current activity. Click the Cast this Tab button to stop what’s showing and cast the current tab instead.

Shortcuts available

  • Switch to other tabs and/or applications while casting using the Alt-Tab (Mac: Command-Tab) keyboard shortcut.
  • Click on the status area of the current casting to return to the original tab.
  • Mute what’s casting to your TV by clicking the mute button. Note: This is distinct from your TV's mute function. You need to unmute from Chrome to hear sound on your TV.
  • Click the Stop button or close the tab to stop casting.
  • More keyboard shortcuts can be found in the Chromecast Forum.  

Elise is a Chromecast expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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